South Side Bulletin February 2016

Professional Learning Opportunities For Educators On The Go

When Behavior Charts Don't Work, Throw Them Out!

Does this sound familiar? You have a student in your class who constantly has issues with something. Maybe it’s calling out, maybe it’s staying on task, or maybe it’s disturbing other students. You start each day with the hopes that today will be the day that the classroom expectations sink in, but alas, he has that same difficulty again. You give a reminder or verbal warning – maybe you even give two – but then, once again, that student repeats the behavior and heads over to turn his card/change his clip/move his button. Does it work? Has your student lost the desire to play with her eraser now that she is looking at her name on the “Stop and Think” section of the behavior chart? My guess is no.

How Student-Centered Is Your Classroom?

Whether you instruct first grade or university students, take some time to think about where you are with creating a learning space where your students have ample voice, engage frequently with each other, and are given opportunities to make choices.

3 Ways to Plan For Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and crew are so intimidated by the Wizard's enigmatic personality that they struggle to talk with him on equal footing. Fear and frustration overwhelm them as they blindly accept a suicide mission to slay the Witch of the West. In return, they each receive a treasured prize: a heart, a brain, courage, and a way home. Ironically, they already have these gifts -- which they only discover after unveiling the man behind the curtain posing as the grumpy wizard.

Differentiated instruction (DI) casts a spell on educators as to how it meets all students' needs. The skillset required to differentiate seems mystical to some and incomprehensible to others in this environment of state standards and high-stakes tests. Where does one find the time? The reality is that every teacher already has the tools to differentiate in powerful ways for all learners.

Travel the Word From Your Classroom: Free iPad Apps for Virtual Field Trips

Not every school has the resources necessary to take their students on an airplane . . . or spaceship. The iPad can bring the world to your students' fingertips in ways never before possible. Many national parks and museums have apps designed for onsite visitors. These navigational tools are also great for classrooms who can't make the trip. In fact, a variety of free apps can be used as virtual field trips so that children can travel the world from your classroom!

Feeding the Teacher's Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

Teaching is a cognitively complex profession. In the course of a single school day, an educator must make hundreds of decisions and respond quickly to the myriad unexpected turns that life in the classroom may take. You have a high-energy job, so it's essential to prime your brain and body with the right fuel.

But in the busy life of a teacher, who has time to think about healthy eating, much less sorting through the sometimes-conflicting claims about the nutritional value of various food choices?